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University’s annual student showcase to launch with virtual award ceremony

Posted on - 12th July, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Fashion, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News, UCLan, University
Degree Shows 2020 promo picture
Degree Shows 2020 fashion promo

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is set to host its first ever Degree Shows Launch and Awards Ceremony online this Thursday (16 July).

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The physical Degree Shows, held each year, usually involve the transformation of venues across the campus into immersive galley spaces and are a celebration and culmination of three years hard work by students; exemplifying creativity, innovation and blue sky thinking.

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The events showcase students’ work to the public and industry, launching them into their future careers and are a rite of passage for creative students.

In response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, UCLan has devised innovative, creative Degree Shows, which are to be accessed virtually, replacing its traditional, physical event.

For the very first time, it will give audiences the chance to enjoy an immersive online experience which will mirror an actual live celebration.

The event will enable students, parents, the public and members of industry to experience the show in almost exactly the same way they would do in the university’s on-campus shows, with interactive technology allowing them to view student portfolios and manoeuvre 360 degrees during online tours, enabling them to pause and move around exhibitions at their leisure.

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The new interactive show has been created by both students and staff from the University’s academic and Innovation Lab teams, the latter comprised completely of alumni students who have used their collective skills and technology to create the online event space.

Just as with UCLan’s physical Degree Shows, the launch event will feature special introductory speeches by Vice Chancellor Graham Baldwin, Jenny Rutter, Chair of Creative Lancashire and Jane Anthony, UCLan’s Executive Dean of Culture and Creative Industries.

Fashion student Chelsea Barker will be showcasing her work

As well as featuring announcements of the student award winners for individual work on the day, the show will also feature student portfolios and a wide range of specially nominated creative art, media, design and textiles exhibits.

This will include work from UCLan students who have picked up major external awards during the past 12 months.

Among them is Tia, a striking short animation film created by student Jamie Walsh which won a Royal Television Society North West Award earlier this year.

The show will also feature the work of students from UCLan’s graphic design and advertising courses, who won gold, silver and bronze prizes at the annual national Creative Conscience Awards.

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The awards celebrate projects that aim to improve local communities and inspire and help change people’s lives through the art of design. The winners included Graphic design student Dom Parsons who won gold for a typeface he created for the Grenfell Tower campaigners and community.

The event will also feature the work of Chelsea Barker, a final year fashion design student, who has won a national design brief competition for popular social media channel Tik Tok.

Chelsea will shortly be travelling to London to participate in a five-day residency following her success, where she will be mentored by some of today’s leading designers and will produce four garments of her winning design.

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Jane Anthony UCLan’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries said: “The Degree Shows provide us with an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the creative talent of our students.

“That talent has been nurtured and supported within UCLan by a whole host of dedicated and talented staff, all of whom ensure each of our students reach their potential and leave us as creative practitioners.

“This is an exceptional year as for the first time we are broadcasting the Degree Show into people’s homes and inviting them to explore the final collections and portfolios virtually. 

“In doing this, we are able to engage with many more of our stakeholders be they industry specialists, parents, friends, alumni and of course, all of our students.”

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Danny Livingstone, Project Manager for the Innovation Lab team working on the project said: “Both the Innovation Lab and academic teams have used their creative skills to push the boundaries of technology and create a new format for the awards show within a tight timescale.

“Thanks to their efforts the result now is a truly unique online experience which will showcase the talents of our students off extremely well in these challenging times.”

Further details on UCLan’s 2020 Degree Shows are available online.

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What do you think of the new virtual offering? Tell us in the comments below.

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